Virgin Atlantic tells women cabin crew they can ditch makeup but must follow chosen palette if they want to use it
Virgin Atlantic flight attendants can choose to wear make up if they want as long as they keep the airline's color palette in mind
Virgin Atlantic recently announced that its women flight attendants can opt to not wear makeup so as to allow their cabin crew "more choice on how to express themselves at work."
The airline has been known for its 1950s style of glossy service to passengers and customers and even had their own shade of lipstick called Upper-Class Red by Bare Minerals. The staff is allowed to wear makeup if they choose to but have to adhere to "the airline's suggested color palette." The executive vice president of Virgin Atlantic's customer, Mark Anderson shared with HuffPost, "We have been listening to the views of our people and as a result have announced some changes to our styling and grooming policy that support this."
Along with the makeup rule, the female cabin crew, who are known for sporting an iconic red uniform, will now be provided with a pair of trousers in addition to the standard skirt and shirt. Earlier, the female staff had to especially request for trousers if they wanted to wear them. Anderson shared, "Not only do the new guidelines offer an increased level of comfort, they also provide our team with more choice on how they want to express themselves at work."
"Our world-famous red uniform is something all of us at Virgin Atlantic are incredibly proud of. As an airline, we have always stood out from the crowd and done things differently to the rest of the industry." He said.
We want our uniform to truly reflect who we are as individuals while maintaining that famous Virgin Atlantic style. Helping people to be themselves is core to our desire to be the most loved travel company," Anderson continued.
Congratulations to our first ever Cabin Crew apprentices! We are so excited to have amazing apprenticeship opportunities and to show them off we'll be at The National Apprenticeship Week Show on the 5th and 6th of March. For more details see here: https://t.co/F0b76KizH3 #NAW2019 pic.twitter.com/VoSmKny1fO— Virgin Atlantic (@VirginAtlantic) March 4, 2019
This follows news that Turkish Airlines had done away with its rule that the crew could not wear lipstick and makeup after they started complaints that Turkey was starting to become too Islamic.
Till date, women stewards and air hostesses have been objectified and also sexualized given the number of airlines who prefer to employ petite and slender women.
This sort of sexualization and attitude dates back to the 1930s. A 1936 article says that girls who qualify for 'hostesses' must be "petite, weight 100 to 118 pounds, height 5 feet to 5 feet 4 inches, age 20 to 26 years." Applicants had to pledge that they would not marry or get pregnant and if they did, were at the risk of getting fired. For a majority of airlines, their clothing and appearance are a major element of their brand identity and what they choose to represent is now starting to evolve.